Carmarthenshire £199m wellness and life science project takes step forward
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
A £199m health, life science and housing project in Llanelli looks to be a step closer.
Carmarthenshire Council’s cabinet has instructed senior council officers to agree a “final cost envelope” with the contractor for the first zone of the project.
Officers have also been asked to confirm the affordability of zone one at the new Pentre Awel scheme with the contractor, Bouyges UK.
Cabinet members heard that Bouyges UK has given the council a maximum cost of £87.07m for zone one – comprising a new leisure centre, clinical delivery centre, research-led business development, and well-being skills centre.
The council-led project at Delta Lakes will eventually feature four zones spread over 83 acres.
The report before cabinet said progress was being made with tenants interested in occupying space at Pentre Awel, including Hywel Dda University Health Board, Cardiff University and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
“All tenancy agreements are at heads of terms stage and will progress to lease agreements before the commitment to build is given,” said the report.
The recommendations approved by cabinet will now go to full council for approval.
Council leader Emlyn Dole said the contract with Bouyges UK included “the highest level of community benefits ever prescribed by this authority”. These include targets for sourcing through local suppliers.
He said the design of zone one had been refined, but without taking away the functionality and outcomes the council was committed to.
Pentre Awel is one of nine city deal projects for the Swansea Bay City Region – a £1.25bn public-private investment over 15 years.
It is expected that city deal funding will contribute £39.4m to the £87.07m cost of zone one. Private finance will contribute a further £18.6m, and the council the remainder.
Zone two at Pentre Awel will comprise a nursing home, specialist housing for older people known as assisted living, and social and affordable housing.
More assisted living features in zone three, along with additional business development space, while open market housing and a hotel complete zone four.
Cllr Dole said the assisted living units would include the latest technology, such as remote monitoring, so residents could maintain their independence for as long as possible.
The hope is that Pentre Awel will create just over 1,800 jobs when completed.
Cllr Jane Tremlett said the project was “hugely exciting” and would provide well-paid jobs for the area.
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